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Everyday Leadership | Guard Rails

Words of Life / Salvation Army
The Truth Network Radio
November 6, 2022 1:59 am

Everyday Leadership | Guard Rails

Words of Life / Salvation Army

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November 6, 2022 1:59 am

As we continue our series on leadership, this week John and Bethany discuss the importance of a good leader surrounding themselves with a team of people.


What's Right What's Left
Pastor Ernie Sanders
Core Christianity
Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
Our Daily Bread Ministries
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Hi, this is Bernie Dake. You're listening to The Salvation Army's Words of Life. Welcome back to Words of Life. I am so excited to be back behind the microphone. And this week, for my first time, I get to be in front of the camera with Stephen Nolan, who's normally behind the camera. Welcome, Stephen. Thank you. Thank you for having me. Now, you've just gotten back from serving with The Salvation Army in response to Hurricane Ian down in Florida. What are your impressions? It's amazing to see the Army just being the hands and feet and to be a part of an organization that responds so quickly to disaster.

Yeah. Well, thank you for doing that. We are grateful for your service. Well, if you've missed the show the past few weeks, we're now in a new series with Major John Murphy and Bethany Farrell. Yeah, this has been a refreshing conversation about leadership, not just through a biblical lens, but what does it look like to have everyday leadership as a mother, as a father, as a church volunteer? Well, this week, John and Bethany discuss the importance of a good leader surrounding themselves with a good team of people.

We hope that you'll enjoy this episode. Well, we're back for another edition of Everyday Leadership with Major John Murphy. Good to see you again. Good to see you. Welcome back. Glad you came back. You know, I'm very glad to be here this morning.

I'm learning so much from this whole session, and I'm excited to see what you have for us today. Let's talk about the hero leader. Ooh. You familiar with that? That has an interesting tone to it. Now, me and my family were Marvel fans, right? And when I think of the hero leader, I immediately think of Iron Man.

And here's why. So with a hero leader, we typically think of those as someone who commands strongly, usually in a crisis, some sort of conflict. There are people around them, but they're solely in control.

So the people around them are kind of following their lead, performing the routine tasks. There's no question about who is actually the one in charge here very firmly. And many times, they actually reject input from their inferiors, right? Those who are not in charge or leading at that moment. And unfortunately, we typically judge those individuals by the power of their personality, how big of a character they really are, right?

Or the size of their salaries, how much the world has valued who they are or the position that they hold. Now, just so that we're on the same page, Tony Stark is Iron Man, right? We're talking the genius multi-billionaire who owns his own company and has all these brilliant plans in his brain for how to make all the technology. Yeah, I can see how he would be a hero leader.

He is definitely a loner. That's nothing to do with his iron suit necessarily. No, no, not necessarily. What we don't do is judge those individuals by the effectiveness of their behaviors, long-term success of their efforts, not just at the moment, but what that means long-term or the example that they give, either for those that they're leading or those that are coming behind them, that are looking at them and saying, is this what leadership really is? That's kind of the hero leader concept. What if, here's my question though, what if leadership wasn't about what we do to people or what we do for people, what we do to situations or what we do to for situations?

You could phrase it either way. What if leadership is not about that necessarily, but more about what we do with people? That changes the narrative significantly because then the hero leader is not going to be effective. I would say on the extreme of that scenario, that is not what we want.

I think for two really specific reasons. I don't think it's the most effective use of leadership. I don't think it leverages the voices around us, the community, those that God has raised up around us.

I don't think it leverages that. Secondly, I think it puts us as leaders, if that's the way that we lead, I think it puts us as leaders. If that's the way that we view leadership, it puts us in a very dangerous situation. I think there are way too many examples of leadership going awry, damaging individuals, damaging communities, the leadership community, that community that the leader is involved in. I think we've seen ministries, some come to mind, that have imploded. And what comes out on the end, after all has been talked about, all the investigations have been made, what comes out is in many cases, a leader unrestrained, a leader who believes that they have been given the directive themselves and they need no one around them to give them input or to constrain them or to question them.

Follow me, I have the answer. And I think that could be very dangerous. You're saying from a silo. Yes, very much. In some ways though, you see where the world is afraid of sharing that power. We've heard the phrase, if you want it right, do it yourself.

And so we're hesitant to share with others when we have leadership in place. We can swing, right? We can go to extremes. We like to go to extremes, it would seem, especially when we're countering an argument.

What about this? Group projects. Of course, of course, of course. And I'm not saying that when God has given us influence in a specific area, that all of a sudden we release all of that to everybody and say, what do you all think about this? I think what I'm guarding against is us standing up as individuals and discounting those that God has placed around us to ensure that the kingdom has advanced according to His will. Because I can, I'm just speaking for myself, and I think I've seen that in others. Never you, Bethany, but in others. I can take too much on myself. And the personality that I have, right? The character flaws that are me can drive too much of my leadership. And I need other people to speak into that.

I really do. And this is such a biblical principle as well that we see in the Bible. I mean, when Jesus was in ministry, He always was surrounded by disciples.

I think we go way back to our conversations on the Trinity, right? God is in community. And we would not want to say that He's providing guardrails around Himself, but God is in community. And I think that's the way that we're supposed to operate as well. Now, we're not saying release everything, right? We're not saying that all of a sudden we're this giant committee and we're going to vote on every... No, we're not saying that. But I do believe that we could be much more inclusive in our leadership for the positive, that those that God has placed around us would be able to speak into and give direction to wise counsel to us. I think that's very important.

It's iron sharpens iron. Now, I'll tell you, it takes a strong individual, it really does, to be able to release some of that and yet still hold themselves accountable to the end result, right? To be able to say, as a leader, I'm responsible for this, I'm going to gather individuals around me to help, and yet I'm still holding the responsibility. If it goes the wrong direction, I'm the person, right?

It takes a very strong individual. And I think in a lot of ways, that's why we don't do it, right? We don't want to allow other people because we are concerned that they may steer us the wrong direction. And it's my reputation on the line, right?

I'm the one the boss is going to come to, therefore I'm going to hold it all myself. For the community, I don't think that is really effective leadership. So what are some of the dangers that we face as leaders?

These are going to be extreme, but I think we can find, even in ourselves, some little hints of these from time to time. As leaders, we can lead compulsively, leadership that has a very specific definition that relates to the need to maintain order, absolute order, in fact. So we become the leader who has to have control of everything that's around us, every person that's around us, and the behaviors that result from that are very damaging, right? So that's one thing. We could be the narcissistic leader. We all know what that looks like, right? The world and all the people in it revolve around my axis, right?

My axis. And lastly, if we're not careful, we can become paranoid, believe it or not. There are paranoid leaders, desperately afraid of anyone or anything that real or imagined may undermine their leadership, pull them out of the limelight. As a paranoid leader, I'm looking around and seeing danger in all these people. I think that they're thinking about this, right? I think they're trying to undermine me in this situation.

I wonder what their motive is here. What can we do to keep from falling into one of these dangerous traps as a leader? That's where this idea of community comes into play.

It really does. We all need trusted individuals, and here's the kicker, whom we will listen to, right? Trusted individuals who we task with giving us regular feedback and those that we will listen to and follow their guidance. I have blind spots. There are things that I don't see. Many times I believe that I'm being received, the decisions that I make, the words that I say are being received a specific way, and I'm blind if they are not. So I need someone to come in and say, that's not how it was received.

Was that your intention? That's not what took place. Or even, and I'm speaking personally, as I ramble on, they can come on and say, listen, that's not helpful. That is not true.

That is not correct. You're endangering or you're hurting or you're not creating a safe environment. I need those individuals to speak that clearly to me, and I need to trust what they say. You need to listen. Yes, and I need to listen.

Thank you so much for this today. We haven't finished yet. Oh, we still need an action point.

What's our action point? We need to build that team. All of us do. And I would say just start with one and be very open, very transparent, and give them the authority to challenge us. And that's what I do. I have a very good group that is often maybe a little too anxious to challenge, but that's how good we are together.

And I would encourage that for those that desire to lead effectively. Awesome. Yeah. Yeah, thanks, Major.

You're welcome. The Salvation Army's mission, doing the most good, means helping people with material and spiritual needs. You become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army. Visit to offer your support. And we'd love to hear from you. Call 1-800-229-9965 or visit to connect.

Tell us how we can help. Share prayer requests or your testimony. With your permission, we would love to use your story on the show. You can also subscribe to Words of Life on your favorite podcast store. Or visit to learn about more programs produced by the Salvation Army. And if you don't have a church home, we invite you to visit your local Salvation Army Worship Center. They'll be glad to see you. Join us next time for The Salvation Army's Words of Life.
Whisper: small.en / 2022-11-06 07:06:58 / 2022-11-06 07:10:12 / 3

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